The NCAA Tournament field of 68 has been narrowed to 16 teams and now we have a much clearer picture of who’s going to win it all. There have been a lot of upsets – as per usual – but there are a lot of strong teams left in the mix, including all four No. 1 seeds.
Kansas (+350) was the pre-tournament co-favorite with Michigan State and after two easy double-digit wins, and after Michigan State’s shocking first-round loss, the Jayhawks solely assume the role as the top dog on the odds to win the NCAA tournament. Next in line are a couple of the aforementioned No. 1 seeds in North Carolina (+425) and Virginia (+575).
The Cavaliers have been knocked out of the tournament by Michigan State in each of the last two seasons, so they’re surely happy they’re gone. They were on a collision course in the Midwest Region. Without them, Virginia now appears to have the easiest path to the Final Four with either a No. 10 or No. 11 seed waiting for them in the Elite Eight – assuming they can beat No. 4 Iowa State on Friday.
As for North Carolina, their path has become easier with the No. 2, 3, and 4 seeds (Xavier, West Virginia and Kentucky), all failing to make the Sweet Sixteen in the East Region. They won’t face anyone higher than a No. 5 seed the rest of the way in their region and no remaining team has longer odds than No. 6 Notre Dame (+3300) or No. 7 Wisconsin (+3300), who they would potentially meet in the Elite Eight.
Although Oregon (+1200) is the last of the four No. 1 seeds, they’re actually not favored in their region. Oklahoma (+750) has been given a better chance to win the NCAA Tournament than Oregon. That’s probably because the Ducks have a tough test in front of them in the Sweet Sixteen with Duke (+1800) and the fact that the Ducks are short on pedigree, not having made the Final Four since 1939.
Villanova (+1200) is tied with Oregon in terms of odds to win it all, but they’ll have to go through No. 2 Miami (+2800) in the Sweet Sixteen and then likely Kansas or Maryland (+2800).